By Nicole Corson
Other than buying a home, replacing the roof can be one of the costliest expenses a homeowner can make. Fortunately, it’s one they don’t have to make all that often. If you’re looking to lengthen the life of your roof to get a better return on investment, maintaining your roof is key. To help you achieve that goal, here are ten roof maintenance tips you should know about.
- When was the last time you trimmed your trees? – If your property is heavily wooded, you’ll want to make sure your trees are trimmed on a regular basis. Overhanging limbs can cause scouring or even rip the shingles right off your roof if they are allowed to grow unchecked. If you want to avoid roof damage, you need’ll to keep branches at least 10-feet away from the roof if you want to be safe. A passing thunderstorm can produce windspeeds high enough to whip tree limbs more than six feet.
- Sweep leaves and debris off the roof. – Aside from limbs, trees are known to shed leaves and twigs from time to time. This leaf litter can accumulate on a roof to the point where it forms a dam that can undermine your roof system and/or clog the gutters. Either way, standing water can work its way beneath shingles to soak the underlayment, warp decking or even spawn leaks. The best way to prevent this from happening is to regularly sweep off your roof and clean out the gutters.
- Is your roof giving the attic a bad case of asthma? – Another problem that significantly reduces a roof’s effective lifespan is poor ventilation. Without proper ventilation, heat and moisture can build up in the attic. If left unchecked, this can cause shingles to warp, lumber to rot, insulation to fail, and a roof to buckle. If roof vents get blocked or attic insulation is insufficient, it can cause serious problems for your home’s roof. The best way around this is to install an attic fan to help your attic breathe easier.
- Look up to keep costs down. – Unless there’s a leak, most people don’t give their home’s roof a second thought. But maybe they should. Especially after a windstorm or heavy thunderstorm passes through your neighborhood, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look up at the roof to see if anything is amiss. A quick scan is usually all it takes to note a fallen branch, as well any obvious signs of roof damage
- Do you have bats in the belfry? – Probably not. But if you haven’t poked your head in your attic in years, there are quite a few nasty things that can take place up there. Rodents and insects can enter an attic and make quite a mess which can undermine any roof system. Leaks can get started which if left unchecked can cause you big problems weeks or months later. The best way to keep your attic from giving you nightmares down the road is to pop your head up there a couple times a year to make sure that everything is shipshape.
- Chimney Check – Missing mortar or cracked bricks can not only spawn leaks, they can cause roof damage should a brick fall off the chimney. Part of an effective roof inspection should include checking the chimney and chimney cap for signs of wear and tear.
- Failed flashing can cause considerable damage. – Everywhere a chimney, skylight or vent protrudes through a roof, flashing is added to make a watertight seal. Time and weather can cause flashing to crack or warp, which in turn can allow moisture to penetrate into your home. If you see dented, cracked or discolored flashing anywhere on your roof, call a roofer to have them inspect and either repair it before failed flashing causes further damage.
- Insufficient Insulation? – Not only can insufficient insulation reduce the lifespan of a roof it can cost you more every time you pay your utility bill. Attic insulation is designed to do everything from control heat loss and gain to preventing the formation of mold. If you discover that your air conditioner just won’t quit running during the dog days of summer, this should clue you in that you may need to add additional insulation to the attic.
- Is there a fungus among us? – Another thing to note during a roof inspection are any streaks or discolorations. This can be the first telltale signs of mold, moss, algae or fungus growing on your roof. If left unchecked, these growths can shorten the life of a roof and cause leaks. To remove these growths may require you to contact a local roofing company. To prevent them from growing back you need to have zinc strips installed along the roof ridge. This will provide an eco-friendly barrier from mold, moss, algae, and fungus growth.
- Is your roof everything it’s cracked up to be? – If you detect cracks in shingles, flashing or caulking, don’t delay having them repaired or replaced. If left to their own devices, cracks can turn into leaks which can start a daisy chain of unpleasant things that won’t just reduce the lifespan of a roof, it can cause everything from water damage and mold to rot and electrical short circuits.
Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters…and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I created some much-needed structure for all our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.